The complex politics that convulsed Turkestan in 1917 remains one of the least understood aspects of the Russian revolution. A structure of dual power emerged along the familiar liberal-radical divide, but in Turkestan both sides represented the small European (largely Russian) settler population and both were united in an attempt to exclude the indigenous population from participation in the revolutionary process. Parallel political movements developed among the local population, but the axes of division were quite different than those among the settler population. The two political movements interacted in numerous ways throughout the year, producing a pattern of conflict that was in many ways unique in the Russian empire. Western scholarship, hamstrung by lack of access to primary materials, has generally paid little attention to the topic. The slim literature that does exist either attempts to find patterns common to the revolutionary process in the capitals (here visible only among the Russian settler population), and thus to affirm the universality of the revolutionary process; or to understand revolutionary Turkestan through analogy with other borderlands and, not finding patterns deemed normative for the borderlands (for example, a strong assertion of nationalism), is content to stress their absence, taking this as proof of the backwardness of Central Asia. Whether they be William Chamberlin's “primitive Asiatic tribesmen,” or Richard Pierce's “natives” who “stood apart from the revolutionary events,” Central Asians are usually written out of the story of 1917.